The System of the Stars

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Agnes Mary Clerke (1842-1907) published The System of the Stars in 1890 when she was a well-established popular science writer. The volume was intended to bring the educated public up to date with the progress made during the nineteenth century in the field of sidereal astronomy. The work was one of the first publications to be illustrated with astrophotography: it contains five astronomical photographs of nebulae. Such photographs had significant impact on the reception and popular acceptance of astrophotography as scientific data. In The System of the Stars, Clerke used the photographs to argue that the natural beauty and symmetry of the universe, displayed by astrophotography, proved the existence of a creator. The work is an important piece of popular Victorian scientific literature, and remains significant today in the context of the nineteenth-century intellectual debates on the relationship between the sciences and religious belief.

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Cambridge University Press
Data de publicació
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